ASPEN, CO - August 12, 2003 - FRAN AM Sport today announced the introduction of the FRAN AM V6 Formula to the North America racing scene. This ultra-modern, high performance open wheel car becomes the highest level of development racing in the...
ASPEN, CO - August 12, 2003 - FRAN AM Sport today announced the introduction of the FRAN AM V6 Formula to the North America racing scene. This ultra-modern, high performance open wheel car becomes the highest level of development racing in the FRAN AM Sport family and indeed in the North American market.
"I am very proud to make this announcement and bring this new series to North America for the 2004 season," stated Thierry Burckhart, President and CEO of FRAN AM Sport. "This car and this series respond to the needs and requests of teams, drivers and event organizers by providing high horsepower, high tech, big event and reasonable cost racing to North America."
Gelles Racing, Inc - President, Robert Gelles is pleased to announce formally today that he intends "to compete fully in the 2004 Championship with (2) V-6 cars alongside our sister car in Fran-Am 2000 and I look forward to continuing the winning style that Gelles Racing has become accustomed to this year, with next year's new Cars." Gelles Racing will add the V6 Fran-Am cars to his current stable of (6) Fran-Am 2000 and (3) Star Mazda cars.
The FRAN AM V6 is a cousin of the Formula Renault V6 which debuted this year in the Eurocup series. The FRAN AM V6 will share technical specs with the Eurocup car creating a stable world class. The car is evolving and when the North American series begins in April 2004 the car will be even more developed than that which now competes in Europe. Three (3) Gelles Racing drivers have already had the distinct opportunity to have driven this new Beast in Europe earlier this year. Each of them has commented "what a beautiful machine it is to drive".
Technical specs include a 3.5 liter engine creating 415 HP, 6 speed semi automatic sequential gearbox controlled by steering wheel paddles, carbon fibre tub meeting F3000 safety standards. an advanced aero package, Michelin tires, Magneti Marelli electronics, Magneti Marelli Data Acquisition and Brembo brakes. The car has proven itself in Europe this year but will pack more power and more advances for its North American debut with a dramatically improved engine sound similar to F1. This provides an excellent opporutnity for TEAM Gelles drivers to experience both cars testing in preparation for the upcoming season.
"The FRAN AM Sport concept of high tech formula cars has proven itself in North America, growing in just one year to fields of over 30 cars in the FRAN AM 2000 series," continued Burckhart. "I expect a similar reaction and response from pro teams for the V6 program, some Teams have already ordered the FRAN AM V6. These two series compliment each other so well for FRAN AM Sport Teams and the V6 completes the FRAN AM Sport ladder of development. Our V6 series retains standing starts and some events will introduce tire changing pit stops to further the training of teams and drivers. We provide the best, most modern, and now most powerful group of cars which will take a young driver from karting to FRAN AM 1600, FRAN AM 2000, and now FRAN AM V6, before we graduate our drivers to the highest levels of racing."
The FRAN AM Sport formula for cost containment is evident in the V6 program. The initial cost for a car, including engine, data acquisition, wheels and tires, ready for the track, and including shipping and taxes, is $165,000. Gelles Racing, Inc. is intending the 2004 Budget to be approximately $600,000, which will include generous testing as allowed within the restrictions of Fran-Am Sport regulations.
The 2004 FRAN AM V6 season will begin in April and consist of 13 races on 12 weekends and will operate in conjunction with the established FRAN AM 2000 series. The specific schedule including prize fund will be announced in September. The 2003 schedule includes CART, Grand-Am Rolex and other prominent events and the 2004 schedule is expected to be even stronger with TV coverage and with major events in Canada, the United States and Mexico.
"I want to join in this announcement and add my enthusiasm," stated FRAN AM Sport COO Arden Weatherford. "We are in position to deliver cars in November of this year and look forward to full fields for the coming season with a superb car, fully developed and compatible with our European cousin series."